Warm like Hawaii.
Warm like Hawaii.

Breaking: Wetsuit brand Xcel purchased from stuffy bankers by small group of surf industry heavies, sign Sage Erickson as first order of business!

Happy days are here again.

The rise and fall of the surf industry could be a great, thick epic and one that may someday be written. Skipping toward the back half of the book, if Matt Warshaw had already put pen to paper and we had it in our hands, we would find chapters dedicated to Boardriders, the private equity group that scooped up Quiksilver and its holdings then Billabong and its holdings, becoming a behemoth but also weird with bankers etc. pulling surf strings.

Well, word has trickled out that one of Quik’s early purchases, Xcel, has been offloaded to a group of surf industry heavies.

The Hawaiian wetsuit brand founded by a man from New Jersey in 1982, has long been a staple in lineups around the world and always impressive to me. “How does a wetsuit brand get founded in Hawaii?” I’d wonder before remembering that man from New Jersey where the water gets icy cold.

Maybe not as cold as my hometown Coos Bay, Oregon but still.

In any case, Xcel became a staple though I feel semi-disappeared during the banker years but is now back, thanks to aforementioned heavies, and have signed the Ventura-by-way-of-Sunset product Sage Erickson as first order.


And do you imagine this sets up the second volume of the Rise and Fall of the Surf Industry tentatively titled The Surf Industry Strikes Back wherein iconic brands are scooped back up by the core and kept that way?

Here’s to hoping.

Support here.

Open Thread: Comment Live, Day Two of the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach where change calls the tune we all dance to!

Elimination round, here we come!

Blue Cake. Photo: @sensitiveseashellcollector
Blue Cake. Photo: @sensitiveseashellcollector

Living surf legend Kelly Slater reveals special “gangster name” to rapper who “doesn’t like movies with a bunch of gays in them!”

Introducing Blue Cake.

The social media-based name generator phenomenon has been around for quite some time now and we have all played and chuckled and shared. What is your pornography name? Use the name of your first pet plus the street where you grew up. What is your horror movie name? Use your favorite brand of dishwashing liquid plus the shoes you are currently wearing. Etc.

The most popular in the genre, though, is “what is your rap name” and/or its twin “what is your gangsta name.” There have been many ways to determine, through history, but a new one has just been floated by the the rapper Bryson Gray who burst on the scene in 2019 by introducing the #MAGAchallenge wherein he had his followers make rhymes in support of then president Donald J. Trump.

Gray, who recently tweeted, “When will Hollywood realize that normal people don’t want to watch movies with a bunch of gays in it,” a position that was enjoyed by the living surf legend Kelly Slater, announced “Your gangster name is the color of your shirt and the last thing you ate. Who are you?”

“Black boneless chicken wings” was his own.

Slater, quick to respond, was “Blue cake.”


While not initially catchy, Blue Cake lightly grows with time and might have legs. The surprising thing, I suppose, is that Kelly Slater eats cake. I have never been a fan, much preferring pie to cake, but where do you think the 11x champion was? A child’s birthday party? John John Florence’s house?

Currently more questions than answers but while we are waiting for them to materialize what is your gangster name?

I am “Baby Blue Banh Mi.”

West not caring about surfing. Thank you, Next
West not caring about surfing. Thank you, Next

Kanye West and Australian wife currently holed up in Nobu’s “adult oriented Malibu retreat” just down from Miki Dora’s stomping grounds while $57 million surf-front home is renovated!

But surfing?

The sun is currently shining in Malibu and though the surf is 1 – 2ft at First Point, there’s always a taker or seventeen. This iconic stretch of coast is deeply embedded in our history, from the brave pioneers who first trespassed upon that sacred land to Miki Dora to Laird Hamilton.

And now Kanye West and his Australian wife.

You may have not known the very famous rapper, and onetime husband of Kim Kardashian, became re-married, and to a sheila to boot, but it is true and the happy couple was ready to move into his 2021-purchased $57 million home but it is under renovation and what to do?


Check into the Nobu Ryokan.

According to the website:

Drifting above the Pacific, the Nobu Ryokan Malibu is a triumph of architectural carpentry and subdued hospitality. This intimate 16 room, adult oriented retreat honors the traditional Japanese Ryokan, featuring teak soaking tubs, indoor/outdoor fireplaces, serene outdoor patios, timeless artwork and gracious accents. Seamlessly blending traditional Japanese minimalism with the elegant flair of the California coastline, this discerning sanctuary boasts a rich, natural aesthetic and an ethos of pure tranquility.

From the moment you arrive, the unforgettable views of Pacific Ocean and tranquil landscaping sets the tone for a private oasis. Exclusivity and privacy are foremost, with an emphasis on low-key comfort and high-end indulgence. A host of luxurious amenities awaits you, coupled with gracious service and Nobu comforts.


And you wanted to eat the rich?

For shame, for if you have ever had Nobu Matsuhisa’s sushi than you would know it tastes much better than, I imagine, Dirk Ziff.

Hamchi with jalapeño.


Back to the hotel, though, it is but a short jog to First Point though it appears that West and his Aussie are simply “hanging out, working together and playing board games.”

Not surfing.

Even with an Australian in tow.

Has the wave crested?

Celebrity interest in our sport of kings no longer du jour?

Hope springs?

Larry Haynes and his last-ever wave. "He had an incredible life right to the end! He couldn’t fit anymore into his life than he did!” | Photo: Larry Haynes

Legendary surf cinematographer Larry Haynes filmed his last-ever wave before collapsing and dying in beach carpark minutes later!

“He caught this beautiful wave and he rode it for a long time and by the end we were cheering and yelling and crying…”

If you knew Larry Haynes, like I knew Larry, you’d know this beautiful man with the extravagant, well-used smile would’ve loved to’ve gone out with his boots on, as they say.

Four days ago, Larry died of a suspected heart attack while crossing the road after a surf at Laniakea on Oahu’s North Shore, and only a couple of weeks after capturing the most dramatic water footage from the epic Eddie Aikau Invitational.

A Californian transplant who moved to the North Shore thirty years ago and who was sixty-one, Larry was without peer.

“To me, Larry is a precious character in the surf world and a living legend,” the photographer Rob Gilley wrote for Surfer. “I have seen him shooting wide-angle in-water film at giant closed-out Off The Wall, Backdoor, Maverick’s, Teahupoo, and Waimea. I once was in Australia with him when he shot wide-angle water movies at the sharky Easter Reef when the faces of sets were 25-foot. Before GoPro existed, Larry used to surf with a 10-pound camera attached to his head—a camera that would break your neck if the lip hit you unexpectedly. The guy is a human bulldog.”

“The man is a staple in our lives,” wrote Kelly Slater. “It’s hard to imagine a surfing world without Larry in it always screaming us into waves and throwing good vibes.”

Brian Bielmann, who downloaded the footage from Larry’s GoPro after his death, told Hawaiian TV,

“He caught this beautiful wave and he rode it for a long time and by the end we were cheering and yelling and crying…He had an incredible life right to the end! He couldn’t fit anymore into his life than he did!”